Kesha came to fame in 2010 when she hit the charts with “TiK ToK” as a pop-party girl. She has now returned to the music industry after almost four years with two singles called “Praying” and “Woman.” Within those four years, she has gone to rehab for an eating disorder and faced controversy with her now former producer Lukasz Gottwald (also known as Dr. Luke). In her new songs, she reflects on her hiatus, but bites back with confidence and self-love.
During Kesha’s first interview since her new music came out on the Zach Sang Show, she claimed to be crying “happy tears” for days before the release of “Praying.” “Basically, there was a point where I didn’t know if I was ever going to get to put out music again,” Kesha said. It is easy to see why she thought that.
Her career started in 2005 when she moved from Nashville to Los Angeles to get a start in music. She was featured in the famous 2009 Flo Rida song, “Right Round,” which gave fame to her own music released in 2010. To the public eye, things seemed alright until the “Free Kesha” movement started.
In 2013, Kesha’s fans had started to question if she had any creative input into her 2012 album, Warrior. They thought that Dr. Luke had prevented her from making any final creative decisions on the album, which lead to a “Free Kesha” petition that asked Sony to release Kesha from her recording contract.
When Kesha was asked in an interview with the Rolling Stone if she has creative control, she said, “Not really. What’s been put out as singles have just perpetuated a particular image that may or may not be entirely accurate…”
Not too long after that, Kesha checked into rehab for an eating disorder in January of 2014. “I’ll be unavailable for the next 30 days, seeking treatment for my eating disorder… to learn to love myself again, exactly as I am,” Kesha said in a statement.
In October of the same year, she filed a civil suit in California against Dr. Luke, claiming he sexually, physically and verbally abused her since she was signed to his recording company. Kesha claimed in the lawsuit that he used a “date rape drug” to sexually assault her while she was unconscious and he used constant verbal insults such as “a fat f**king refrigerator.” She also claimed that these type of comments about her weight by Dr. Luke was part in developing her eating disorder that made her go to rehab.
Kesha went to court in 2015 in order to be legally free from her contract so she could work with anyone but her claimed abuser. People on social media once again were using #FreeKesha in their posts, but this time it was backing a legal battle. In the end, Dr. Luke’s lawyers made the argument that the courts already “found that Kesha is already ‘free’ to record and release music without working with Dr. Luke as a producer if she doesn’t want to,” the lawyer’s statement said.
After her legal battle settled, Kesha went back to her music with a new producer and she was able to truly express herself through song. In “Praying,” she wishes the person who “put [her] through hell” farewell and she hopes that they are praying and changing their soul. This seems like an obvious reference to the abuse she had talked about in court.
During the first minute of the music video for the single, Kesha recites something not included in the song while shown in a casket, and then on a raft in the middle of a still body of water. What she recites is deep and dark, with lines like “What is the lesson? What is the point?” and “Being alive hurts too much.” This seems to be her thoughts before she wrote “Praying” because the song itself is a powerhouse of strength. By the end of the video, she walks off the raft that she was seemingly deserted on.
Most of Kesha’s fans were ecstatic to see her back with new music, especially a song that is so empowering. Many fans took to social media and posted first reaction videos. One compilation videos shows reactions to a specific high note that makes most fans loose their minds.
People reacting to Kesha’s high note pic.twitter.com/SaaFPUlC7t
— 🔸 (@luvintothelight) July 10, 2017
Kesha certainly did not disappoint with “Praying,” and she pleased her fans once again on July 14th when she released another single called “Woman.” If you thought “Praying” was empowering, then you will definitely love “Woman.”
The music video is directed by Kesha’s brother, Lagan Sebert, and features The Dap-Kings Horns. Kesha radiates confidence in this single as she drives around in her Cadillac and brags about paying her own bills, buying her own things and that boys can’t buy her love. She then rolls up to Delaware’s Oddity Bar, where she sings about female empowerment in a gold, glittery outfit with the horn band blasting soul tunes. Although, the song might not be on the radio due to the chorus stating the line “I’m a motherf**cking woman” repetitively.
In a very heartfelt essay with the Rolling Stone, Kesha dives into her inspirations for her upcoming album. She said that “Woman” in particular is all about empowerment and feminism.
“That day in particular I felt like I had earned the right call myself a motherf**king woman. I have always been a feminist, but for much of my life I felt like a little girl trying to figure things out. In the past few years, I have felt like a woman more than ever. I just feel the strength and awesomeness and power of being female. We hold the key to humanity. We decide if we populate the Earth, and if so, with whom. We could just decide not to have any more kids and the human race would be over. That is power. I just really f**king love being a woman and I wanted an anthem for anyone else who wants to yell about being self-sufficient and strong. (Yes, men, this song can be for you too.)”
Kesha’s new 14 track album, Rainbow, is set to be released on August 11th with songs featuring artists such as Eagles of Death Metal and Dolly Parton. What is obvious is that Kesha is back in the music industry and she is more confident and empowered than ever.